Paroxetine withdrawal syndrome (advice?)

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Hi, I just wanted to share my experience of this drug and what I am going through. I was put on seroxat at 18 due to messing with recreational drugs. I was fine on 20mg for the next 17 years living life to the max!!! However, due to the birth of my son i wanted to be drug free, and had not had any symptoms for 12 years! I went to the doctor and she said to come off it over a few weeks and I'd be fine. This was not the case, after 7 weeks post taper and about 3 weeks off totally I had a total nervous breakdown. Dr put me back on 20mg, this was 4 months ago. Since then my nervous system is in complete meltdown, im suffering RLS, hand tremmors, depression, anxiety. The Doc suggests trying higher dose of Paroxetine and / or Mirtazipine. Has anyone experienced this, what did you do? Word of advice do your own research and read Shipko, and Healys work on SSRI discontnuation syndrome before you decide to come off it, especially if you have been on it for many years! Don't make my mistake and just trust your Dr!

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  • Posted

    Sounds awful. I've been on Seroxat 22 years! I came off it twice many years ago. The first time cold turkey, then I was so ill, I went back on it after only a couple of weeks. The second time (over 16 years ago). Despite being on maximum dose of 60 g, I couldn't cope with a bereavement. So Dr advised coming off gradually, then trying Effexor. That was disastrous. So I went back on Seroxat. Never got down to 20 mg (though that was my aim!) But stabilised on 40 mg for many years. Then my world fell apart in 2014. I was hospitalised after a major breakdown. So dose raised to 60 mg. Was also put on Mirtazipine. They definitely helped, but came off them a year ago, as they can cause weight gain

    My advice would be to give Mirtazipine a go. The "new kid on the block", similar to Seroxat, is Sertroline. They are supposed to have less side-effects. I've been kept on Seroxat as it has suited me (especially helps with OCD). Will probably be on them for life. But if it keeps me alive, that's all that matters.

    Good luck! Hope things improve for you.

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  • Posted

    I will never understand why  most docs always seem to propose increasing a dosage of psyciatric drugs  when a person is already having adverse reactions ?  it is counter-intuitive at the least !  My experience is that most physicians seem utterly ignorlant (or don't care) of drug effect toxicity or withdrawal reactions and instead thing it's your emotional condition causeing the problem.......there is also this popular theory (unproven) that your depression is causeed by a "chemical imbalnce" in your brain  or a genetic flaw thus causing this problem. If anything the introduction of psycoactive substances ( i.e. med drugs ) into our brain makes the "imblance " even worse......it's also been my experience...since I had taken Paxil for 15 years and struggled with the host of adverse effects....now I have been off completely for over 5 years and doing much, much , better.  I take no anti-depressants at all !

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    • Posted

      I'm guessing you are in USA, as you call it Paxil. We have the NHS here, which has plus and minus points. Drs here don't give out drugs without good reason, as it costs the NHS money. Whereas in USA Drs want to give out drugs as they make money. The problem here is that we have to fight to get anything. The problem in US is that you could be fobbed off, just so they make money.

      You should never advise someone to come off their medication. It may not have suited you. Everyone is different.  I can honestly say that Seroxat saved my life. I looked it up. I asked my Dr for it. (NHS Drs don't have time.) My Dr was also a friend. I knew her when I was young. She and I both saw the difference in me.

      Yes, I believe I DID have a chemical imbalance. This has now been corrected.

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  • Posted

    Well... Paroxetine prides itself in being the most difficult SSRI to give up. After taking it for 10+ years a man has to ask himself a few questions – are the serotonin transporter proteins still present in my body or were they all fried long time ago…? Are my neurons still capable of producing new SERT or did they already lose this ability generations ago…? These are all important questions. When paroxetine and related SSRIs were introduced to the market, no one seriously considered using them for such a long period of time. The clinical trials were carried out on patients that had been receiving treatment for 2, maybe 3 years max, but certainly not for a decade. The other group of antidepressants being in use at that time (MAOi) were characterised with a different mechanism of action and were known to be safe while used for many years (providing that a patient did not have a taste for cheese…) so GPs and – to some extent – psychiatric consultants just assumed that SSRIs could be prescribed in the same way. Were they right…? I struggle to find any reliable data that would answer the question of whether using SSRIs for such a long period of time (a) helps with the psychiatric symptoms and (b) is safe for the liver/heart/other organs. It’s just a suggestion, but if your symptoms fail to improve within a few weeks after stopping paroxetine, maybe you should consider taking these pills again... at the same dose... and staying on them indefinitely…? Sounds radical, but if it helped...
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    • Posted

      Thankyou John. About the time on the pills. I trusted the doctor to know whether it was the right protocol or not. I did go back on them 7 weeks after starting the taper but my symptoms still occur. 
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    • Posted

      From my experience, if the same SSRI doesn't work after having a break, it is worth to consider a tricyclic antidepressant - either mirtazapine or amitriptyline could be a good choice. Increasing the dose of paroxetine doesn't make much sense - it should be already working after 7 weeks. Switching to another SSRI wouldn't make much sense either - all of them are more activating than paroxetine and this is the last thing you want while experiencing tremors...

      Doctors... well... they are just human beings. As all of us - some know their stuff, other don't. Some are willing to try unconventional things, others stick to the book. The good thing is that if you disagree with one of them, you're free to see another smile

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    • Posted

      I completly disagree, doctors and the medical knowlegde they can access if they want needs to be accurate and patient centred. Taking a nonchalent approach to peoples health and handing out pills like they can't do any harm is reckless and unprofessional! 

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    • Posted

      Well John, After 30 +  years of paroxoine and all the SSRI's since being  introduced into the market, there is still no conclusive studies indicating the extent of long-term adverse effects ! There is a conflict of interest in favor of the Pharma companies......who is willing to fund those studies, and the Pharma co. don't want any conflicting evidence to interfere with their profits.  Once again Big corp. profits wins out over patient safety.

      Year after year more medications are rushed thru the approval process with hastily conducted clinical trials and then after 6 weeks so, they are declared aprroved for patient use....along with micraculous claims of marvelous curing powers ! In truth......any and all pschoactive drugs introduced into our bodies and brain are going to have detrimental effects on our brain function all cause unpredictable impairment in the long term.....even in the short term as per so many documented adverse side effects that we all know to be true (despite what the so called experts say. )  I myself have been the victim of the propganda having taken paroxitine over a 15 year period  and now have been off of them for over 5 years. (however, I seem to have overcome any adverse effects that I know of ) and my overal cognitive function seems to have recovered very well........many others seem to have not (we can read all the stories on these forums )  Any how......no I am a complete advocate of not taking ANY Anti-depressants which I am not any more and I am very happy about that........I feel like I had lost 15 to 20 years of my life while was taking them!  

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    • Posted

      David, I wish I could tell you more in detail how I withdrew from paroxitine. I did not document very well my reactions from withdrawal and it has been over 5 years now.........I sort of recall that I did it in a hap-hazzard way and it was not neccessarily gradual that much....but I do recall having lots of nervousness, headaches, more depression......when you do a search and read up on the withdrawal effects....they are alot like the adverse effects while taking the drug really.  I had been taking it intermittently from about 10 mg...then some days I would not take........I had finally just decided to quit altogether at some point.....but I was decreasing it also not in a measured fashion....well I did survive it OK though.....The link I sent you about Drug withdrawal on this can be researched more from you....good luck
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  • Posted

    Hello Wendy, yes. I was on paroxetine for around 2/3 years and I started to get very anxious and down all of a sudden. I blamed it on my change of job and circumstances but I knew my medication should have enabled me to cope. I decided to go to the doctors to come off paroxetine and although happy now oh my god was it hard. I started to come off gradually and by 3 days later I was a nervous wreck and couldn't stop crying. I went back to the doctors and decided to do it quickly rather than prolong it. I weaned myself off of it over 3 days and went straight on to Sertraline. I suffered with terrible withdrawals ( I hear paroxetine is the worst ). I had brain zaps and nauseous feelings. As soon as I started my new meds I feel better. My recommendation is if you need to come off paroxetine because it isn't working do it slowly if you can if not do it quickly but make sure you have time off work and no commitments. It is very hard but know you will get through it.

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